My take on Google dropping H.264

If you can’t be arsed to read this post, it ends with: it’s a good thing.

Based on this simple comparison, to me it totally makes sense to drop support for H.264. Google can play the “openness” card – I don’t mind, but as a business I would expect the licensing is the real issue.

Now you’ve got a whole bunch of people crying out that if Google are dropping H.264, why don’t they drop Flash too? Seriously? It’s not really the same is it. It’s apples and oranges. It’s really not comparable, and frankly, the company would have to be seriously brain damaged to also drop Flash at the same time as dropping H.264 just to appease the fanboys.

There’s been a few posts about Google should drop Flash if they drop H.264, but Brian’s spot on when he commented on @gruber’s latest post:

@dalmaer: @gruber trolls everything google. Guess its hard to accept they’re #2. At least Google doesn’t have the monopoly on hypocrisy!

Personally, my take on Google referencing “openness”, is that it’s partly true, but also, to me, it’s two fingers up at Apple. The played the same bullshit hand to Adobe last year and have dropped Flash on iOS and their Air range in favour of HTML5.

That’s crap. They’ve not dropped it for HTML5 – because if they did, they would have invested more in the power of the browsers on iOS. They’re shockingly slow compared to how they’ve been pitched (technology-wise).

It’s just a big shitting cascade, and someone’s possibly going to do something to Google. Who knows, maybe they’ve got the power-shit?

What I do think, is that if Microsoft go and add support for WebM natively, I’m personally going to have a very hard time justifying encoding to H.264. In fact, I’ve already had a brain fart asking whether we bother supporting Safari.

The only real factor for me as to whether I encode to H.264 is the number of iOS visitors vs. other devices. I’ve looked some stats over at AdMob and frankly it’s a little bit difficult to tell. The way I read it, is that worldwide, Apple has 30% share, and maybe more (around 40% devices – not sure), but Android usage is going at a much higher rate.

Whatever the outcome, the fact that Google are focusing support on WebM: it’s a good thing.

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A developer from the UK working and loving the web.